The Baldwin Locomotive Works prepared builder's photographs only for representative locomotives from each class, they did not photograph each locomotive.
Alaska Railroad locomotives 551 through 557 had a number of modifications made by Baldwin that were specific to Alaska. (558 through 562 were built to the standard design and the Alaskan modifications were made by the ARR.) Because of the differences from the standard USATC design, the subclass of locomotives built for Alaska had their own builder's photographs, detailed specifications, specification card, and side elevation erection drawing which were different from the standard design that was supplied for European use. While the BLW classification for the standard USATC Consolidations was "2-8-0 19S," Baldwin apparently identified the Alaskan sub-class as "2-8-0 19S, 516," with 516 being the serial number within the class for the pictured locomotive.
Even for these plain Jane War Department locomotives, there was a degree of pride displayed when creating the builder's photo. Preparations for their glamor shot included highlighting the running boards, crosshead guides, and wheels with white paint and photographing the traditional builder's photo stance with the side rods down. Note that the rods were down for both the right and left side photos, which would have required moving the locomotive between photos to get the rods in the proper position. In the left side photo, everything in the background was retouched and removed (both the original and retouched left side photo are included.) The builder's photo for the standard European locomotive of this design was of USATC 1702 (now Great Smokey Mountains Railroad #1702).
The USATC Consolidations were each assigned a USATC road number. Those that were operated on the Alaska Railroad had those numbers replaced by ARR numbers when they were received. USATC 2626 became ARR 555.
Our thanks go to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, which have premitted us to publish these photographs. Our permission does not allowed us to transfer permission to others and appearance here does not give permission for others to copy the images for their own use.